Police Officer II Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Police Officer II Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada

End of Watch Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Add to My Heroes

Russell Lee Peterson, Jr.

Police Officer Russell Peterson was killed while participating in a training exercise for the police department's Search and Rescue Team on Echo Face near the Cathedral Rock area of Mount Charleston.

He and another team member of the 6-person team were climbing a frozen water wall that was approximately 160 feet high. The other climber went up first, and as he prepared to change off the safety system, the ice above him began to break off. Officer Peterson, who was still on the ground, held onto the rope so that his partner could remain against the wall and avoid being hit by the large pieces of ice. One of the chunks of ice struck Officer Peterson on the head, breaking his neck. Once the landslide stopped, his partner climbed down and determined Officer Peterson had suffered fatal injuries. He snowshoed to a nearby camp, where he was able to call for help.

Officer Peterson's body was located under the landslide debris, still holding onto the rope which was able to hold his partner against the rock wall, saving his life.

Officer Peterson had served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for eight years. He had turned 40 the day before his death. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 3879

Incident Details

  • Cause Weather/Natural disaster


Most Recent Reflection

View all 39 Reflections

Just watching cops from 1998 saw that Officer Russell Peterson lost his life doing his life’s work. His work of helping others, serving the public. My husband was with Lapd for 30 years and had suffered too heart attacks. He is still going strong after 20 years. We just don’t understand until it hits our family how hard these men and women work for us. I just wanna give things to the Metro Police Department for Las Vegas and for the family of Officer Russell, and for all the law-enforcement officers in the United States. I respect and give thanks to you all.

Susie hemsworth
Wife of retired LAPD officer

February 23, 2024

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.